A Baton Rouge physician arrested last month and accused of sending sexually explicit messages and video of himself to a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl has been formally charged by the state Attorney General’s Office.
James A. Hargroder, 64, 5421 S. Woodchase Court, was charged with indecent behavior with juveniles Thursday in a one-count bill of information filed at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.
The document states that on July 21, Hargroder “transmitted electronic text communications or electronic visual communications, or both ..., depicting lewd or lascivious conduct, text, words or images or some combination of these things to a person he reasonably believed to be under the age of seventeen. ...”
“The defendant did this with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of himself, the person he believed was a child, or both of them,” the bill of information alleges.
The electronic communications and images were sent through the Internet by Hargroder and received by an undercover law enforcement officer, the document says.
Hargroder, who has been a physician with the Baton Rouge General Physicians group since 1996, was suspended indefinitely Sept. 26 — the day he was arrested by East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s detectives with the office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Baton Rouge General Medical Center spokeswoman Nicole Kleinpeter has said.
Hargroder practiced at a clinic on North Boulevard.
Hargroder, who did not treat patients younger than 19, could be terminated from the group depending on the outcome of the criminal investigation, Kleinpeter said.
Hargroder allegedly sent sexually explicit messages and a sexually explicit video of himself to the person he thought was a young girl.
He also sent two videos of himself committing lewd and sexually explicit acts, sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks has said.
Hargroder is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 26 by state District Judge Lou Daniel.
If convicted of indecent behavior with juveniles, Hargroder could face up to seven years in prison.